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Hills, Half Marathon and a Recovery Run

20 February 2012

There’s a lot of catching up to do, so I’ll start with my weekly summary:

Tuesday: 6 miles (intervals)
Wednesday: 6.5 miles (start slow, finish faster)
Thursday: 6 miles (hills)
Friday: WIMP OUT
Saturday: 13.1 mile “race”
Sunday: 5.5 miles (plod)

Total: 37 miles

I had intended for last week to be the first 40 mile week of my training. A piffling 3 mile jog on Friday morning was all that was needed to achieve this, but I just couldn’t manage it. Thursday night’s hill session was a killer – only one more rep than last week, but my thighs were suffering from the third rep onwards.

Saturday’s plan dictated a half-marathon race. I interpreted this not as 13.1 miles “run as fast as you can” (i.e. a race), but “run at marathon pace” which, for me, is 8 minutes a mile. The good news is that the pace felt fine. The bad news is that I cannot imagine running it again today, never mind immediately afterwards.

However, I’ve been here before. Running this very training programme in 2010, I remember feeling exactly like this after the first half-marathon in the plan. By week 14 of the training, 13.1 miles will seem like a short run. Gulp.

Sunday’s run should have been the easiest of these three. It was the shortest, the sun was out and it was a beautiful day. Not so. A run around Archway, Holloway and Highbury on a Sunday morn’ is rarely a thing of beauty. Blue skies may loom overhead, but pavements are littered with Saturday night’s hangover. Broken bottles glitter from gutters, polystyrene burger cases bloom in hedges, and benches and bus stops have yet to lift their skirts of vomit.

This week the mileage should hit 40. Life begins there, I hear.

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